Change of Status: H to F-1
To change your status from H to F-1, you must follow the procedure outlined below:
1. Staple the following items together, in the order given. Keep a photocopy of each item for your records.
A. Check for $290.00* (plus $10 for each dependent in the U.S.) made payable to Department of Homeland Security.
* Be sure to verify that the fee has not increased by checking the I-539 filing fee. Go to the USCIS homepage, click Immigration Forms on the top menu, then scroll down to I-539.
C. A letter from you explaining the reasons for requesting the change of status. You should include evidence to support your arguments (i.e. why you are no longer eligible for H-1 status, why you need to be in F-1 status, what your academic goals are). It is recommended that your letter is reviewed by an advisor at International Student & Scholar Services before you mail your application to USCIS.
E. Your Form I-20 (pages 1-3).
F. Financial Documentation - e.g. a scholarship letter, bank statement, affidavit of support, etc. as proof of your ability to finance the education costs required in section 8 of your I-20.
G. Original I-94 card (include dependent’s I-94 card, if applicable. Keep copies for your own records).
H. Photocopy of Form I-797 “Notice of Action” for H-1B approval.
I. Photocopies of the pages in your passport which contain data about you: your photo, name, birthdate, your passport’s expiration date, and the H visa stamp.
J. Submit the admission letter from American University.
K. Submit an original letter from the H-1B employer verifying that you are currently employed on the date when you are submitting your application to USCIS.
L. Submit copies of the last three pay stubs issued by your H-1B employer.
M. (Optional) Complete G-1145 E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance to receive an e-mail or text message from USCIS when your application is accepted.
We recommend that an ISSS advisor reviews this packet with you before you mail it.
2. Keep a photocopy of your complete application for your records in case all or parts of your application get lost in the mail or at USCIS.
3. Mail the items listed above by Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested to (or some other method that allows you to track the delivery of the package) to:
For Express mail and courier deliveries (e.g. UPS, Fed Ex, DHL, etc):
2501 S. State Highway 121 Business
Lewisville, TX 75067
For U.S. Postal Service (including US Postal Service Express mail):
P.O. Box 660166
Dallas, TX 75266
Make sure to keep the receipt until USCIS sends back your approved application and documents.
The USCIS has launched a system for checking the status of your pending application at a Service Center via the Internet. The information provided is the same as can be obtained by calling the “USCIS Direct” 1 (800) 375-5283 inquiry lines at the Service Centers, but the online system provides an alternative means to make an inquiry without worrying the long wait on phone.
4. When you receive your new I-94 and I-20 with the change to F-1 status, please bring the documents to ISSS to be copied for your file.
Disclaimer: These materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice or serve as a substitute for legal counsel.